Orange-and-Thyme Grilled Shrimp

I wasn’t even planning to blog this meal.  The colors of the shrimp when I took them off the grill Monday night were so beautiful, though, that I couldn’t resist snapping a few quick shots.  Plus, the shrimp were so easy and delicious…  How could I not share? 🙂

First, I did make a couple of minor substitutions based on what I had.  The recipe called for 1 pound of large tail-on shrimp, “large” meaning about 24 shrimp per pound.  My grocery store had tiger shrimp (16 – 20 per pound) or “medium” shrimp (31 – 40 per pound, if I remember correctly), but not “large” shrimp.  I decided to go big with the tiger shrimp.  The recipe also called for 8-inch skewers, which I *used* to have.  I decided to combine two servings per skewer and go with the 12-inch skewers I had on hand.

To prevent the skewers from catching fire on the grill, I soaked them in water while I marinated the shrimp.  (Always soak them for at least 30 minutes.)

For the shrimp marinade, I combined 1 teaspoon of orange zest, 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large zip-top bag.  I added the shrimp (1 pound, peeled and deveined but tails left on), tossed everything to coat, and marinated the shrimp until I was ready to assemble the skewers.  (I marinated for about 2 hours; 30 minutes is the minimum and 8 hours is the maximum.)

While the shrimp marinated, I made the dipping sauce.  In a small bowl, I combined 1/3 cup of light mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest, 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme.  I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper to taste and then set it aside.

I set our grill burners to medium and oiled the grates.  While the grill heated, I threaded the marinated shrimp onto four skewers.  Shrimp cook very quickly (and they get rubbery if they’re overcooked), so I cooked them until they were just opaque – 2 minutes on the first side and about 90 seconds on the second side.  I served the shrimp with the dipping sauce.

Orange-and-Thyme Grilled Shrimp

Aren’t they just beautiful?  I couldn’t get over the pinks in the tails, the oranges and yellows in the shrimp (from the marinade), and the gorgeous dark charred spots.  The taste measured up as well…  There was so much flavor in the shrimp from the marinade that we didn’t even really need the dipping sauce.  Since the shrimp can be assembled and cooked in 10 minutes or less if you marinate ahead of time, this makes a terrific weeknight meal *or* a great option for entertaining with minimal time spent in the kitchen.

TIPS:  The key to assembling shrimp skewers is to make sure you pierce the shrimp through the top and bottom of its “curve”; this prevents the shrimp from spinning on the grill when you turn the skewers.

Recipe link: Orange-and-Thyme Grilled Shrimp

3 Responses to “Orange-and-Thyme Grilled Shrimp”

  1. 1 Lisa July 16, 2009 at 3:18 am

    If you like the mix of orange and shrimp, I recommend this Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for roasted shrimp salad — it definitely makes enough to feed 6 (generously), my husband and I were eating it for a week: Serve over greens (like baby lettuces or watercress). Tastes even better after the flavors have melded overnight in the fridge!

  2. 2 jfochek July 16, 2009 at 3:25 am

    I think I watched the episode where she made that shrimp salad, but I have yet to try the recipe. I do love a good make-ahead dish (especially one that comes recommended!), so perhaps I’ll give it a whirl for my book club meeting next week. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. 3 Stephanie August 5, 2009 at 1:14 am

    These sound delicious. Perfect for an easy appetizer or something to nibble on for a summer BBQ. I might be trying them this weekend. Thanks!

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